Our Unique Relationship with Mary

When we are invited into the Miraculous Medal Association, we begin a unique relationship with Mary. Not only do we wear her medal, but Mary listens attentively to us who wear it. She listens because we explicitly chose to pray and talk to her. Let us try to understand a little more why Mary listens to us and how we pray to her.

If we look at the four dogmas of Mary, one of them stands out as helping us pray to Mary. The dogmas of Mary are The Immaculate Conception, the Perpetual Virginity of Mary, the Mother of God and the Assumption. They tell us how God gifted and created the human person Mary. Though she showed herself to St. Catherine Laboure as the Immaculate Conception, it is her title the “Mother of God” that helps us talk and pray to her. It tells us she was a woman and gave birth. A woman giving birth is very human. It is a fulfilment of God’s purpose in creating humans.

Catacomb of Priscilla, Rome. Smarthistory at Khan Academy, 2014

The whole idea of praying and talking to Mary did not start with St. Catherine Laboure and the Miraculous Medal Association. It started very early in the Church. Those who heard the apostles preach also heard stories about Mary from the apostles. Second and third generation witnesses repeated the stories that they heard. They knew that the one who gave birth to Jesus was Mary and that she was human.

Early in the early 3rd century, the Christians drew pictures of Mary in the catacombs. The pictures show Mary nursing baby Jesus. This human activity is known by every mother and father. But why did they paint this type of picture? Normally, this is not the first thought we have of a friend’s mother. They could have drawn pictures of Mary at Bethlehem, or of the angel Gabriel and Mary; or even a picture of the Gospel account of Mary at the Wedding Feast of Cana.

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